Pollen analysis and five radiocarbon dates of a 687-cm core provide a detailed chronology of environmental change in a marsh at the head of Newport Bay, Orange County, California. Sediment deposition kept pace with sea-level rise during the early history of the marsh. From ca. 7000 to 4500 yr B.P. the site was a freshwater marsh, trees were more abundant than today, and grassland was the regional vegetation. As sea level rose, salt marsh gradually invaded the site. Brief periods of freshwater marsh 3800, 2800, 2300, and after 560 yr B.P. correlate with episodes of global cooling during the Neoglacial. The historic period is marked by the appearance of exotic species (particularly Erodium cf. cicutarium and Eucalyptus) and the spores of fungi (Sporormiella and Thecaphora). Peak influx of pollen, spores, and charcoal probably reflect greater frequency of flooding and erosion ca. 5000 yr B.P. and during the last 1000 yr.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Earth-Surface Processes
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences